Digital curation is generally referred to the process of establishing and developing long term repositories of digital assets for current and future reference by researchers, scientists, historians, and scholars.
 Aspects of digital curation
Digital curation entails:
- Collecting verifiable digital assets
- Providing digital asset search and retrieval
- Certification of the trustworthiness and integrity of the collection content
- Semantic and ontological continuity and comparability of the collection content
 Challenges faced by digital curation
Significant and major challenges faced by digital curation are:
- Storage format evolution and obsolescence
- Rate of creation of new data and data sets
- Broad access and searching flexibility and variety
- Comparability of semantic and ontological definitions of data sets
 Response to digital curation challenges
The challenges faced by digital curation are resulting in:
- specialised research institutions
- academic courses
- dedicated symposia
- peer reviewed technical and industry journals
to address the challenges.
 Sheer curation
Sheer curation is an approach to digital curation where curation activities are quietly integrated into the normal work flow of those creating and managing data and other digital assets. The word sheer is used to emphasis the lightweight and virtually transparent nature of these curation activities. The term sheer curation was coined by Alistair Miles in the ImageStore project , and the UK Digital Curation Centre's SCARP project . The approach depends on curators having close contact or 'immersion' in data creators' working practices. An example is the case study of a neuroimaging research group by Whyte et al., which explored ways of building its digital curation capacity around the apprenticeship style of learning of neuroimaging researchers, through which they share access to datasets and re-use experimental procedures .
Sheer curation depends on the hypothesis that good data and digital asset management at the point of creation and primary use is also good practice in preparation for sharing, publication and/or long-term preservation of these assets. Therefore, sheer curation attempts to identify and promote tools and good practices in local data and digital asset management in specific domains, where those tools and practices add immediate value to the creators and primary users of those assets. Curation can best be supported by identifying existing practices of sharing, stewardship and re-use that add value, and augmenting them in ways that both have short-term benefits, and in the longer term reduce risks to digital assets or provide new opportunities to sustain their long-term accessibility and re-use value.
The aim of sheer curation is to establish a solid foundation for other curation activities which may not directly benefit the creators and primary users of digital assets, especially those required to ensure long-term preservation. By providing this foundation, further curation activities may be carried out by specialists at appropriate institutional and organisation levels, whilst causing the minimum of interference to others.
A similar idea is curation at source used in the context of Laboratory Information Management Systems LIMS. This refers more specifically to automatic recording of metadata or information about data at the point of capture, and has been developed to apply semantic web techniques to integrate laboratory instrumentation and documentation systems  Sheer curation and curation-at-source can be contrasted with post hoc digital preservation, where a project is initiated to preserve a collection of digital assets that have already been created and are beyond the period of their primary use.
 See also
- Digital artifactual value
- Digital asset management
- Digital Curation Centre
- Data format management
- Digital obsolescence
- Digital preservation
- ^ a b "What is Digital Curation?". Digital Curation Centre. http://www.dcc.ac.uk/about/what. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
- ^ Elizabeth Yakel (2007). "Digital curation". Emerald Group Publishing. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mcb/164/2007/00000023/00000004/art00003. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
- ^ "Digital Curation & Trusted Repositories: Seeking Success - Introduction". JCDL 2006 Workshop: Digital Curation & Trusted Repositories: Seeking Success. http://sils.unc.edu/events/2006jcdl/digitalcuration/#introduction. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
- ^ a b Paul Watry (November 2007). "Digital Preservation Theory and Application: Transcontinental Persistent Archives Testbed Activity". The International Journal of Digital Curation. http://www.ijdc.net/./ijdc/article/view/43/50. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
- ^ Digital Curation Centre
- ^ Digital Preservation Coalition
- ^ DigCCurr 2007 - an international symposium on Digital Curation, April 18-20, 2007
- ^ 1st African Digital Management and Curation Conference and Workshop - Date: 12-13 February 2008
- ^ International Journal of Digital Curation
- ^ The ImageStore Project - ImageWeb
- ^ Digital Curation Centre: DCC SCARP Project
- ^ Whyte, A., Job, D., Giles, S. and Lawrie, S. (2008) 'Meeting Curation Challenges in a Neuroimaging Group', The International Journal of Digital Curation Issue 1, Volume 3, 2008 http://www.ijdc.net/index.php/ijdc/article/view/74/53
- ^ Frey, J. 'Sharing and Collaboration' keynote presentation at UK e-Science All Hands Meeting, 8-11 September 2008, Edinburgh http://www.allhands.org.uk/2008/programme/jeremyfrey.cfm
- Digital Curation and Trusted Repositories: Steps Toward Success
- digital-curation discussion list
- Animations introducing digital preservation and curation
- DigCurV A project funded by the European Commission to establish a curriculum framework for vocational training in digital curation.